2022 NAB League Girls: Round 6 wrap

A top-of-the-table clash headlined Round 6 of the 2022 NAB League Girls season, on a weekend which saw three games decided by under a goal. On the flip side, one team recorded its highest ever score in a 99-point thumping. We recap how each of the Round 6 matches went down in this week’s wrap.

  • Team
  • Western Jets
  • Geelong Falcons

By: Peter Williams

The Western Jets signalled their intention to reach the metropolitan finals pool, defeating Geelong Falcons in a superb defensive performance. After a nail-biting first term, the Jets held just a one-point advantage, but then the home team put the foot down in the second piling on 4.3 to 0.0 to effectively seal the contest. Both sides were on winning streaks – Geelong four and Western three – heading into the game, but it was the Jets who emerged stronger, kicking two goals in the final term – albeit with inaccuracy – to run out 7.13 (55) to 2.5 (17) winners at Westbourne Grammar.

Caitlin Sargent starred in the win with 3.3 from 12 disposals and five marks, looking lively and dangerous every time she went near it. Though she continued her strong performance in front of goal, the Jets forward was far from alone with Kasey Maddock slotting two majors from 13 touches as a second target deep. Through the midfield, though Montana Ham started slowly, she worked into the game to pick up 20 disposals, six inside 50s and eight tackles, whilst Charlotte Baskaran (26 disposals, seven inside 50s and seven tackles) and Trinity Skenderis (22 disposals, seven inside 50s) also found plenty of the ball. The likes of Kiera Whiley, Sierra Grieves and Paige Ryan created plenty of run on the day.

For the Falcons, ruck Keeley Hardingham was the clear standout, working tirelessly on her way to 28 disposals, six marks, six tackles, 10 hitouts, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s in the loss. With the ball being in the defensive half so often, the Falcons had plenty of back 50 players finding the pill, as Johanna Sunderland (22 disposals, four tackles), Sara Howley (21 disposals, nine marks, eight rebound 50s) and Mia Van Dyke (15 disposals, five marks, three tackles and three rebound 50s) all among the best on the day. Compounding the loss was an injury to midfielder Grace Purcell early in the game who took no further part in the contest.

Geelong Falcons will look to bounce back from the loss to take on GWV Rebels at City Oval next Sunday from 11am, whilst the Western Jets host Brisbane Lions Academy at The Hangar.

WESTERN JETS 1.2 | 5.5 | 5.8 | 7.13 (55)
GEELONG FALCONS 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.4 | 2.5 (17)


Western: C. Sargent 3, K. Maddock 2, P. Ryan, A. Gray
Geelong: A. McKee 2


Western: C. Sargent, C. Baskaran, T. Skenderis, P. Ryan, K. Maddock
Geelong: K. Hardingham, S. Howley, J. Sunderland, M. Van Dyk, A. McKee


5 – Keeley Hardingham (Geelong Falcons)
4 – Caitlin Sargent (Western Jets)
3 – Charlotte Baskaran (Western Jets)
2 – Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Trinity Skenderis (Western Jets)

The heat was on as Western downed Geelong

  • Team
  • Murray Bushrangers
  • Northern Knights

By: Michael Alvaro

The Northern Knights are finally on the board in 2022, after defeating Murray Bushrangers by a single point on the road. In what was a scrappy, low-scoring battle, the visitors snuck ahead early in the final term and piled on the pressure before being made to hold on to its slenderest of leads. Bushies star Zarlie Goldsworthy, who was in the wars, had the final shot of the game but could not quite put it on target.

Arguably best afield in a losing effort, Goldsworthy led all comers alongside Keeley Skepper as both players racked up 26 disposals. The likes of Zara Hamilton and Cassidy Mailer also found plenty of ball rotating through midfield, while Grace Hay was assured in defence with three marks and six tackles. Injury was unfortunately added to insult for Murray, as lively forward Olivia Cicolini was helped off with what looked like a serious knee injury.

The Knights tasted victory for the first time this year, again served wonderfully well by Ava Jordan in midfield and a sturdy backline. Mia Haas and Tannah Hurst were among those to play important roles inside defensive 50, while skipper Jessica Nursey put in a skipper’s shift further afield and Ella Smallacombe proved the spearhead with a goal up forward.

Northern can now head into the bye with an injection of positive energy, while the Bushrangers will ready up again for a trip to Epsom Huntly in Round 7 as Bendigo Pioneers await.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 1.3 | 1.5 | 3.6 | 3.7 (25)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 0.1 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.2 (26)


Murray: Z. Goldsworthy, O. Cicolini, I. Lehman
Northern: J. Fitzpatrick, E. Smallacombe, I. Parnell, E. Lee


Murray: Z. Goldsworthy, G. Hay, K. Skepper, Z. Hamilton, C. Mailer
Northern: A. Jordan, M. Haas, T. Hurst, J. Nursey, E. Smallacombe


5 – Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers)
4 – Grace Hay (Murray Bushrangers)
3 – Ava Jordan (Northern Knights)
2 – Mia Haas (Northern Knights)
1 – Tannah Hurst (Northern Knights)

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Oakleigh Chargers

By: Michael Alvaro

The Oakleigh Chargers are back on the winners list after snapping a two-game losing streak, downing GWV Rebels by 15 points at Ballarat’s City Oval. Despite trailing at the first break, the reigning premiers were able to apply just enough scoreboard pressure throughout a game where both sides were level in scoring shots. Their 6.4 (40) was superior to the Rebels 3.7 (25), making for a much needed victory.

The additions of Jasmine Fleming (24 disposals, three goals) and Charlotte Taylor (14 disposals, six tackles) proved crucial to Oakleigh’s cause, as both returned top shifts. It came against some prepared opposition though, with GWV’s Molly Walton (29 disposals) leading all comers in front of Rebels skipper Lilli Condon (27, one goal).

Others to impress for the victors included defender Erin Woodford, while 2006-born talents Maggie Mahony and Sienna Tallariti showcased once again why they continue to be blooded early. Usual suspects Tahlia Meier and Jamie-Lee Speakman each had their moments for the Rebels, who now slump to 1-5 after their Round 1 win.

The Rebels have another home game coming up in Round 7 as they face the Geelong Falcons on Sunday, while Oakleigh will welcome the Gold Coast Suns Academy to Highgate Recreation Reserve on the same afternoon.

GWV REBELS 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.6 | 3.7 (25)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.1 | 3.3 | 4.3 | 6.4 (40)


GWV: J. Speakman, T. Crabtree, L. Condon
Oakleigh: J. Fleming 3, S. Tallariti 2, K. Smith


GWV: L. Condon, M. Walton, T. Meier, J. Rentsch, J. Speakman
Oakleigh: J. Fleming, C. Taylor, M. Mahony, E. Woodford, S. Tallariti


5 – Jasmine Fleming (Oakleigh Chargers)
4 – Lilli Condon (GWV Rebels)
3 – Molly Walton (GWV Rebels)
2 – Charlotte Taylor (Oakleigh Chargers)
1 – Erin Woodford (Oakleigh Chargers)

  • Team
  • Calder Cannons
  • Bendigo Pioneers

By: Peter Williams

Calder Cannons have held off a fast-finishing Bendigo Pioneers outfit to remain right in contention with Western Jets for the second metropolitan spot. Since losing in Round 1, the Cannons had won three consecutive games coming into Round 6, whilst the Pioneers were coming off a big win to Gippsland Power, but were 2-3 for the overall season. The first quarter went as expected with the Cannons getting off to a good start, largely due to a four-minute purple patch where they kicked three goals. Despite only kicking another three for the game, the Cannons were not without their chances, slotting 5.0 in the first half, before managing the 1.5 in the second half. It was different for the Pioneers who trailed at every break, including 16 points at the last change. Charging home, the Pioneers drew within a kick – and had the ball inside their forward 50 late – but it would not be enough, as the home side got up, 6.5 (41) to 5.6 (36).

It was an even team performance from the Cannons, but lead by Vic Metro hub member Reese Sutton who amassed a team-high 23 disposals, two marks, 10 tackles, five inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal. Amy Gaylor worked hard alongside Sutton in the midfield, recording the 19 disposals, two marks, six tackles, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s, whilst Tahlia Read (15 disposals, two marks, four tackles and three inside 50s) finished with plenty of touches. Chloe Prpic was slick in the forward half, kicking a goal from 14 disposals, two marks, four tackles and four inside 50s), whilst Olivia Manfre kick-started the Cannons with two goals in a minute in the first term.

The Pioneers had plenty of even contributors across the board as Octavia Di Donato (24 disposals, two marks, five tackles and nine inside 50s) had more disposals than anyone else, and almost had a couple of majors for her troubles. Lucia Painter (15 disposals, three marks, eight tackles and a goal) had a solid performance across four quarters, with tall forward Tegan Williams (14 disposals, five tackles, three inside 50s and three goals) a powerhouse inside 50, as Lila Keck worked into the game after an uncharacteristic quieter start. Drew Ryan (20 disposals, four marks, three tackles and six inside 50s) was also productive with ball in hand.

Calder Cannons next tackle Tasmania Devils down on the Apple Isle on Saturday, whilst Bendigo Pioneers host Murray Bushrangers at Epsom Huntly Reserve on the same day in a repeat of the Round 1 fixture.

CALDER CANNONS 3.0 | 5.0 | 6.3 | 6.5 (41)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.5 | 5.6 (36)


Calder: O. Manfre 2, C. Baker-West, R. Sutton, C. Prpic, K. Lennox
Bendigo: T. Williams 3, L. Painter, J. Douglas


Calder: R. Sutton, C. Prpic, A. Gaylor, O. Manfre, L. Bateman
Bendigo: O. Di Donato, T. Williams, L. Painter, L. Keck, D. Ryan


5 – Reese Sutton (Calder Cannons)
4 – Octavia Di Donato (Bendigo Pioneers)
3 – Tegan Williams (Bendigo Pioneers)
2 – Chloe Prpic (Calder Cannons)
1 – Amy Gaylor (Calder Cannons)

Action from Calder’s close win over Bendigo

  • Team
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams

Dandenong Stingrays won the battle of the undefeated sides in a thriller over Eastern Ranges at Seaford, in a game that lived up to all expectations. Without a shadow of a doubt, it the game of the NAB League Girls season thus far, as the two heavyweights in their respective pools put one what could only be deemed as a potential grand final preview to delight the crowd at Linen House Centre. The Ranges slotted four first quarter goals, and only 1.3 for the rest of the game, but it was the defence of the metro side that helped keep it in the game against the ferocious Stingrays.

Dandenong has so often been able to blow away sides with an extra gear in the second half, and the Stingrays reached that gear again, expect this time, they met their match. The Ranges defence held up steadfast against the continuous inside 50s in that second half. When Alyssia Pisano kicked her third goal of the contest early in the fourth, the Ranges lead by 11 points and it could have been the turning point to get the momentum back on the visitors’ side. But alas for them, Dandenong regained momentum, and though it took until the 10-minute mark of the quarter, Emily Shepherd converted a set shot, and Felicity Crank kicked a captain’s goal off a Taylah Gatt handball to win her side the game. There was still just over five minutes left in the game and only a two-point margin, but the ball had largely lived in the Stingrays’ attack. Though Eastern had a few forward forays, the Stingrays defence held up to record the 5.5 (35) to 5.3 (33).

Both sides copped a serious injury blow in the game at either ends of the match, with Stingrays runner Amber Clarke helped off in the first term, whilst Ranges’ goalsneak Alyssia Pisano was carried off in the final minute of the match. The latter had produced a typical small forward’s game prior to that, kicking three goals from just four kicks, and showing that despite being closely guarded, was able to make the most of her few chances. Beside her was teammate and tall Mia Austin who amassed 16 disposals, three marks, four tackles, 11 hitouts and four inside 50s, also kicking two first quarter goals.

Dandenong Stingrays had such an even contribution across the board it made it near impossible to award best players, with Charley Ryan (25 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and a goal) producing the most consistent four quarters of the lot. Co-captains Mackenzie Eardley (21 disposals, three marks, eight tackles, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Crank (18 disposals, 11 tackles and a goal) elevated their games in the second half, whilst Gatt (nine disposals, three inside 50s) just makes the most of every touch. Emily Shepherd (20 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) and Olivia Robinson (16 disposals, three marks, two tackles and five inside 50s was also brilliant).

Along with Pisano and Austin, it was hard not to award Bridget Deed with best on ground honours after yet another ball-winning performance. Even when the Ranges were on the ropes late, Deed tried to single-handedly rip through packs and set up scoring chances, picking up 10 more disposals than anyone else on the field, with 35 touches, five marks, four tackles, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s. Another player who hardly wasted a touch was defender Laura Stone who balanced offensive and defensive impact, to amass 17 touches, five tackles and four rebound 50s in the loss. Mia Busch got better as the game went on, whilst Isabelle Khoury and Matilda Hardy contributed throughout. Cadhla Schmidli held strong in defence, recording the 13 touches, three marks and four rebound 50s under heavy fire from the Stingrays attack.

Both sides hit the road next round, with Dandenong Stingrays having a five-day turnaround to take on Sandringham dragons at Trevor Barker Oval from 6:30pm on Friday night, whilst Eastern Ranges travel down the highway to take on Gippsland Power at Churchill from 11:30am.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS 2.1 | 3.3 | 3.4 | 5.5 (35)
EASTERN RANGES 4.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 5.3 (33)


Dandenong: E. Shepherd, C. Ryan, S. Butterworth, F. Crank, E. Butler
Eastern: A. Pisano 3, M. Austin 2


Dandenong: C. Ryan, M. Eardley, O. Robinson, T. Gatt, F. Crank
Eastern: B. Deed, L. Stone, M. Austin, M. Busch, C. Schmidli


5 – Bridget Deed (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Charley Ryan (Dandenong Stingrays)
3 – Mackenzie Eardley (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Laura Stone (Eastern Ranges)
1 – Olivia Robinson (Dandenong Stingrays)

The action was fierce in Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash

  • Team
  • Gippsland Power
  • Sandringham Dragons

By: Declan Reeve

Sandringham Dragons have bounced back from two disappointing losses in a row by registering their highest ever NAB League Girls score, pushing Gippsland Power aside by 99 points in a dominant performance. The final scoreline read 2.3 (15) to 18.6 (114) as the Dragons seemed in control from the start.

Zoe Barbakos continued her strong debut season, snaring four goals and 14 disposals in a strong forward half performance, as bottom-aged teammate Mia Zielinski managed three goals from just as many touches. Pia Staltari and Amelia Luca also managed multiple majors with two each, and Staltari also notched 15 touches as she rotated through the midfield. Sandringham guns Bridie Hipwell (18 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles), Keely Coyne (16 disposals, 10 tackles) and Sofia Hurley (27 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) were influential in getting the ball forward for their teammates, while Jenna Witts, Emily Gough and Charlotte Ryan were also good through the game.

Despite the loss, Gippsland still had some admirable contributors. 2006-born star Ash Centra was unsurprisingly amongst them, managing one of Gippsland’s two goals and directly assisting for the other in an outing which yielded 18 disposals, five marks and six tackles. Macie Gilmour was once again strong through the midfield with 16 disposals and a whopping 14 tackles, while Amber Schutte was also causing headaches with her 13 disposals and five tackles.

Sandringham has a quick turnaround into Round 7, hosting the Dandenong Stingrays at Trevor Barker Oval on Friday night, whilst Gippsland will face the Eastern Ranges in Churchill the following morning.

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.1 | 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 (15)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 5.1 | 10.2 | 14.3 | 18.6 (114)


Gippsland: A. Centra, T. Burn
Sandringham: Z. Barbakos 4, M. Zielenski 3, P. Staltari 2, A. Luca 2, J. Witts, E. Sciberras, T. Jones, S. Hurley, E. Gough, K. Galaminda, R. Dale


Gippsland: A. Centra, M. Gilmour, A. Schutte, T. Burn, I. Makai
Sandringham: B. Hipwell, Z. Barbakos, M. Zielenski, K. Coyne, S. Hurley


5 – Bridie Hipwell (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Zoe Barbakos (Sandringham Dragons)
3 – Mia Zielenski (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Ash Centra (Gippsland Power)
1 – Keely Coyne (Sandringham Dragons)

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